Risk of aspiration pneumonia in brachycephalic dogs

Risk of aspiration pneumonia in brachycephalic dogs

Brachycephalic dog breeds consist of flat faced dogs with some genetical health deformity. Even though this breed is characterized by health issues, they are popular among pet lovers. Some of the prominent examples of brachycephalic dog breeds are Boxers, Bulldogs, Pugs and Boston Terriers.

The seriousness of the health issues faced by brachycephalic dog can be exponential to the degree of flatness of their face. Some of the common health issues faced by such breeds are heatstroke, eyeball ulceration, respiration issues and aspiration pneumonia. Among these, aspiration pneumonia is one of the serious health issues, which if left untreated, can even lead to the loss of life of your furry companion.

 What is Aspiration Pneumonia?

Aspiration pneumonia is a health condition characterized as the inflammation of lung due to the inhalation of foreign body. Even though bacterial or viral infections can also be considered as factors causing aspiration pneumonia in dogs, on most of the occasions, it is triggered when the dog inhales something, which gets entrapped in his lungs.

The foreign body can be anything ranging from food particles to small toy parts.

*Why brachycephalic dogs are more prone to Aspiration Pneumonia?*

Brachycephalic dogs are more at risk of aspiration  pneumonia due to their skull deformity. The deformity in skull of brachycephalic dogs leads to respiratory issues and this increases the probability of these breeds to try inhale foreign objects by accident.

What are the symptoms of Aspiration Pneumonia?

Aspiration pneumonia in brachycephalic dogs takes a bit of time to present itself, literally transformed, you cannot observe the respective symptoms as soon as the dog ingests a foreign body into his lungs, it takes a bit of time until you start observing the symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of aspiration pneumonia are:

  • Light mucous membrane
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent attempts to vomit and cough
  • Elated heart rate and body temperature
  • Signs of distress and reluctance to workout
  • Difficulty in breathing

 How to diagnose Aspiration Pneumonia?

A veterinarian will perform a detailed physical check-up in addition to taking an in depth look at your dog’s medical history to diagnose the condition. Veterinarians commonly use urine test, blood test and X-rays to pin point brachycephalic aspiration pneumonia.

How to treat Aspiration Pneumonia?

Treating aspiration pneumonia in brachycephalic depends on identifying the root cause of the issue under consideration. For instance, if your dog’s lungs is holding a foreign object, a surgery might be the only option. On the flip side, if the issue is caused by the alveoli or air sacs the veterinarian will use humidifier and other treatments to open up the nasal passage for easing the respiratory process.

During the treatment, your dog will be prescribed with complete rest, which prevents him from indulging in any physical activities.

Brachycephalic dog breeds are always in need of special care. If you own a brachycephalic dog breed or if you intend to adopt one, ensure that you have plenty of time to set aside to care for them.